We were picked up at 10:00 by Olivia from Foundation Cristosal, and were introduced to our driver for the rest of the trip -- Guillermo. We went immediately to Shicali, the ceramics shop we were at on Saturday. In this shop, all the goods for sale are made by people with disabilities. The woman who started this shop and work is confined to a wheelchair. I purchased two shallow bowls/platters and a square plate, as pictured here. They have a golden retriever who lives there -- she is 2 1/2 years old, and her name is Agatha -- she immediately went to Julie and Shelley. New BFF's! While I may have thrown the ball that was in her mouth, when she retrieved it and looked back -- Agatha was looking for Julie or Shelley!
We headed to Suchitoto, a beautiful city with a bloody past. While today it is a tourist Mecca, during the war people were murdered here. Shelley shared with us that there were many people from Suchitoto who fled to the area of San Andres where Amy, Shelley's daughter served. It is so sad to think that a place so beautiful was shrouded with this kind of pain. When we stopped at the restaurant for lunch, I should have noticed but didn't. At the top of the entrance was a scale -- on one side of the scale was a bomb shell that had been dropped on this city, on the other was a pile of tortillas. Make food not war?
After a delicious lunch at this very most eclectic restaurant, we headed into the center of Suchitoto. The Church there was highly touted by Shelley, and she wasn't wrong. It was beautiful. What was interesting was that there was this stray dog that fell in love with Shelley. He followed her in and stayed with her the entire time we were there. See him on the steps next to the gate looking at her? I was very moved by the flowering of the Virgin Mary, the amazing tiles on the floor, and the woodwork. More, there was a woman in the side chapel who, after she was done praying, came out of her pew and backed out of the chapel, nearly walking into me. I forgot this custom -- but I saw it in Spain. It was very powerful to watch, and the woman who backed out of the chapel had been crying. I wanted to comfort her, but I knew not to interfere. She looked at me, wiped a tear and smile as she wished me a good day. I wished her a good day in return.
The only other stop we made before heading back to the hotel on this day of rest was to the Anil shop -- the Indigo shop. Irma, the owner, opened the shop and we went in. This is an ancient art that was reintroduced by an NGO, where Japanese dye specialists came to teach. Irma spent three years studying, and opened her own shop in Suchitoto. She spent close to an hour teaching us the technique, including making an item for us to take home. She spent so much time with us, showing us the technique, showing us how to set different styles. While this was a "rest" day, I learned so much. I'm grateful for this time, for being with George, Julie and Shelley. Such great blessings!
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Location:Suchitoto and San Salvador